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Festive Wreath Contest

It’s time for the annual Friends of Confederation Centre Festive Wreath Exhibition. Show off your  [ ... ]

ACORN 2018 Conference

The 2018 Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network’s (ACORN) conference is being hosted in Charlo [ ... ]

A Free Gift

Arianna

Review by Katy Pobjoy

Ogres. Witches. Magic. Is this just another fairy tale? No indeed! Arianna is not your typical fairy tale. The outdoor show, written by Thomas Morgan Jones, succeeded, not only in keeping the children's rapt attention, but in entertaining the adults and teens in the audience at the Confederation Centre Amphitheatre this summer. The latter found themselves impressed by the more realistic approach that does not have good triumphing over evil. And the children? I saw their eyes grow round and their smiles widen as they hummed along to the catchy songs and watched the energetic performances.

The main characters, Nathaniel, Sasha and Murphy, were played by Craig Fair, Fiona Vroom and Robert Laughton, three fresh-faced young actors who pulled off the roles of children with remarkable ease. In fact the entire cast appeared to enjoy performing as much as we enjoyed watching them. With roles from playful children to mislead ogres, student-less wizards to "Diva-Witches," brainless politicians to sorceresses with a fetish for freezing people's feet in place, the performances were as varied as they were entertaining.

In Arianna, evil does not manifest itself as the cloaked, ornery, villain we've come to recognise in children's stories. Rather, it comes in the form of a condition called "The Sleep," that is incurable and irreversible, and affects those who neglect their personal relationships and cease to care about life. Is this a gentle metaphor for teaching children about life's sad realities? Perhaps.

The only consolation the protagonists receive from the play's namesake sorceress, Arianna, is to never stop thinking of the ones lost but to keep them in our hearts and minds.

As the show came to a close, I found myself surprised; the conclusion manages to pull at your heart strings without using cheesy cliches. "We are gone, lost but not forgotten," sing the magic folk as Sasha comes to terms with the fact that she has lost her parents for good. Murphy discovers that his mentor, the mayor, has been taken. Nathaniel realises that he has lost his father forever, and perhaps his mother as well. The final scene brought a tingle of goose bumps to my arms and a sad smile to my lips.

Composed by Jean-Francois Poulin and directed by Julia Grey, this performance, with its strong voices, characters that effortlessly bring a smile to your face and an ease that pulls you in, was a gift to tourists and Islanders alike.

Events Calendar

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Some Upcoming Events

Jimmy Rankin shows

November 22 at Trailside Café
November 23 at Harbourfront Theatre Jimmy Rankin's new Moving East (o [ ... ]

PEI Symphony Orchestra with guest David ...

November 25
Confederation Centre of the Arts Following the fiery season opener Exquisite Fires & [ ... ]

Wintertide Holiday Festival

November 24 & 25
Charlottetown Wintertide Holiday Festival begins November 23 with a Wintertide  [ ... ]

Recent News & Articles

A gift of Island poetry: Chris Bailey

Curated by Deirdre Kessler Things My Buddy Said Oh, brother, growing up I’d get into trouble
like [ ... ]

A passion for cinema

Laurent Gariépy is screening the classics at City Cinema by Dave Stewart Anyone checking out City [ ... ]

Acadian showman

Profile: Christian Gallant by Jane Ledwell Forty-six musicians and step dancers took the stage at  [ ... ]